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Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Lavalier Microphones

Having a good microphone can make or break the audio and video of various applications. Not many people think of it much but a great microphone can make the difference between a professional, polished production and content that seems amateur at best. 

Most people are familiar with microphones that are used on stage or in the studio. While those microphones are incredible, they’re often big or bulky, and sometimes, they just aren’t the best thing to use in particular applications. 

Instead of a boom mic or other bigger mic types, some opt to use a lavalier microphone, otherwise known as a lapel mic. Known for their small and discreet footprint, lavalier microphones are clipped onto the subject — often onto the lapels of jackets, hence its name — and record sound directly into a wireless transmitter or an audio recording device. 

They’re often used in interviews, presentations, broadcasts, live productions, and more. Lav mics also make a great option for podcasting or creating YouTube videos. 

Today, we’ve compiled a list of the best lavalier microphones in the market. From high-end to beginner-friendly lapel mics, you’ll be able to find the best option for you. Check them out! 


In A Hurry? This is the Best Lavalier Microphone

One of the best lavalier microphones right now is the Rode SmartLav+. This microphone is the ultimate choice for most professionals as it records great audio without bulky equipment. Lavalier microphones are the best solution when you need to record content on the go, and the SmartLav+ makes creating content effortless and convenient. 

Specifically designed to work with mobile devices, the SmartLav+ is essentially plug-and-play, making it an excellent solution for capturing quality audio without needing a complicated setup. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, the SmartLav+ is an excellent choice if you want a crisp and clear audio quality in any production that you work on.


Which Lavalier Microphone is the Best?

THE BEST OVERALL
Rode SmartLav+

If you’re a content creator who wants to record professional-quality sound on the go, look no further as the Rode SmartLav+ is your best bet. This light and compact lavalier microphone…

BEST PREMIUM
Shure MVL

One of the best lavalier microphones to use in interviews, lectures, and films is the Shure MVL. This premium-quality microphone brings out the character in a person’s voice, resulting in a full…

BEST STUDIO LAVALIER MIC
Sony ECM77B

A legendary microphone that’s great to use in the studio is the Sony ECM77B. Commonly used in both television and radio productions, the ECM 77B is one of the smallest lavalier mics in the world…

BEST FOR VOCALS
Sennheiser MKE 40

Made by one of the leading brands in the industry, you can be sure that the MKE 40 can provide you with audio that has an incredible quality. Its great frequency response allows it to stand out as a great…

BEST FOR INSTRUMENTS
Audio-Technica Pro 70

Are you someone who plays instruments and want a microphone that can best capture your music? One of the best lavalier microphones that you can look into is the Audio-Technica Pro 70…

BEST FOR DSLR
Sennheiser EW 112P G4

The EW 112P G4 is a wireless lavalier system that’s designed for DSLR use. Composed of the ME2-II omnidirectional mic, a wireless transmitter, and a receiver, Sennheiser provides flexibility for…

BEST FOR STREAMING
Audio-Technica AT899

Audio-Technica is a brand that’s well-known for their attractively-priced quality microphones and the AT899 is no exception. This mic has a low profile but it doesn’t sacrifice sound quality at all…

BEST WIRELESS SYSTEM
Movo WMIC50

Lavaliers come in wired or wireless options and both offer flexibility that handheld mics don’t have. Wireless lavalier mics are usually paired with a transmitter and receiver, making use of…

BEST MULTI-PURPOSE
PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Microphone

There are advanced content creators out there who are ready to move on from their beginner microphones but are still unsure of dropping a huge dime on more expensive, professional models…

BEST BUDGET LAV MIC
Giant Squid Audio Lab Mono Microphone

Microphones are often priced above a hundred dollars and while cheap models do exist, their sound quality is often not the best. There are still standouts though, such as the Giant Squid Audio Lab…


Do Lavalier Mics Sound Good?

When used correctly, lavalier microphones sound good and warrant their use. Most people use them for podcasts, stage performances, presentations, broadcasts, and videos. In all those cases and more, lav mics are placed close to the breastbone or clipped to the lapel of clothes as this allows the mics to pick up the naturally resonating frequencies of the human voice. 


What is the Biggest Disadvantage of Lavalier Mics?

While lav mics sound good, they also come with some challenges as well. The small profile of a lav mic is great, however, there are times that interviewees forget they are wearing the mic and forget that they’re being recorded. Individuals who speak animatedly can risk bumping the microphone, resulting in distortion in the audio. 

There is also the risk of rubbing the lav mic against clothing. Additionally, there’s also the slight trouble of not knowing where to clip the microphone if the person is wearing clothes without a lapel, collar, or buttonhole. There are also times when interviewees are wearing clothing made with delicate fabrics. Lav mics tend to have clips with tiny teeth that can damage delicate fabrics. 

Just like any other product in the market, lav mics have pros and cons. Despite their few disadvantages, lavalier mics are great to use and can achieve incredible broadcast-quality audio when used properly. 


What Makes a Good Lav Mic?

A good lavalier mic can be judged by its reach and polar pattern. Lav mics can be divided into two groups, namely transparent and proximity. 

Transparent vs. Proximity

Transparent lavaliers provide a natural sound that can be described as transparently eavesdropping on the speaker. Transparent lav microphones also display a gradual taper over a few feet of distance and have a slight increase in room noise. Filmmakers often use them as they can cleanly pick up sound from several feet away. 

On the other hand, proximity lavaliers have less of a reach than transparent ones, and therefore are necessary to be placed no more than several inches from the speaker’s mouth. Proximity lavaliers enhance and emphasize the voice close-up, providing a rich, announcer feel to the sound. Additionally, they are capable of isolating the speaker’s voice from the background. These are mainly used by radio and television broadcasters, news anchors, interviews, lectures, studios, and the like. 

Omnidirectional vs. Unidirectional

As for pickup patterns, lavaliers can either be omnidirectional or unidirectional (cardioid.) A microphone with a cardioid polar pattern has a definite front and back and always needs to be pointed directly towards the speaker’s mouth. Cardioid lavaliers are ideally used in lectures and presentations as they can reduce audience noise and limit feedback. These can also be used in broadcast studios and radio. 

Omni-directional lapel mics pick up sounds regardless of their direction and don’t need to be lined up towards the speaker’s mouth. This allows omnidirectional mics to be mounted on a lot of things: loose clothing, shoulder straps, hats, hair, eyeglass frames, and the like. The only thing that you need to take note of when using omnidirectional lapel mics is the distance. Most film and video applications make use of an omnidirectional lavalier. 

Keeping in mind these basic characteristics will be able to help you in choosing a great lav mic for any situation you might need it for. 


Are Cheap Lavalier Mics Any Good?

Most people think that lavalier microphones run on the expensive side, but there are also lav mics that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Despite their price tag, cheaper lavalier microphones are also capable of producing good audio quality. 

Some of them may not be on par with high-end microphones but they are good enough, especially for beginners who are just starting out with creating content. 


Which is the Best Lavalier Mic?

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
01 Rode SmartLav Plus_LAVRode SmartLav+• Compatible with mobile devices
• Premium broadcast-quality sound
• Wide frequency response range
Check Prices on Amazon
02 Shure MVL_LAVShure MVL• Low signal-to-noise ratio
• Small and compact
• Easily connects to smartphones via headphone jack
Check Prices on Amazon
03 Sony ECM77B_LAVSony ECM77B• Can be powered two ways
• Small capsule
• 40Hz to 20kHz frequency response range
Check Prices on Amazon
04 Sennheiser MKE 40_LAVSennheiser MKE 40• Designed for vocals
• Interchangeable connection
• Cardioid pickup pattern
Check Prices on Amazon
05 Audio-Technica Pro 70_LAVAudio-Technica Pro 70• Best for musical instruments
• Minimizes off-axis sections
• Has an instrument mount
Check Prices on Amazon
06 Sennheiser EW 112P G4_LAVSennheiser EW 112P G4• Ideal for DSLR cameras
• Compact mic, transmitter, and receiver
• Compatible with other Sennheiser systems
Check Prices on Amazon
07 Audio-Technica AT899_LAVAudio-Technica AT899• Low profile
• Omnidirectional polar pattern
• Clean and crisp audio reproduction
Check Prices on Amazon
08 Movo WMIC50_LAVMovo WMIC50• Affordable wireless mic system
• Captures sound up to 164 feet
• Comes with a foam windscreen
Check Prices on Amazon
09 PowerDeWise_LAVPowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Microphone• Versatile microphone
• Has an omnidirectional pickup pattern
• Great level of sensitivity
Check Prices on Amazon
10 Giant Squid Audio Lab_LAVGiant Squid Audio Lab Mono Microphone• Affordable
• 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range
• Easily connects to a computer
Check Prices on Amazon

Let’s Go Over Each Microphone

If you’re a content creator who wants to record professional-quality sound on the go, look no further as the Rode SmartLav+ is your best bet. This light and compact lavalier microphone makes recording easier with its unparalleled convenience. 

Unlike other microphones, the SmartLav+ doesn’t require any complicated setup. It’s essentially a plug-and-play lapel mic that’s equipped with a jack that fits most phones, allowing you to record audio anytime, anywhere that you need to. 

The SmartLav+ has a rugged build and a cable length of 1.2m, reinforced with Kevlar, allowing you to take it in and out of your bag as much as you want to without worrying about it breaking down. This lav mic has an omnidirectional pickup pattern, keeping the subject’s pickup volume at maximum no matter the orientation when attached to the speaker. 

With its frequency response rate of 20Hz to 20kHz, it provides a sound that has rich, warm lows and crisp highs. It also has a built-in windscreen to reduce wind noise and plosives. Moreover, the SmartLav+ is also compatible with the Rode SC6-L kit that includes a lightning adapter in the box. 

The SmartLav+ also pairs well with the Rode Rec app, giving users access to a range of predetermined EQ settings as well as numerous easy-to-navigate editing functions. Whether you’re a beginner in content creation or an established professional looking for a great microphone, the Rode SmartLav+ will be a fantastic choice. 

Pros and Cons of the Rode SmartLav+

ProsCons
✔ Compatible with both iOS and Android devices
✔ Broadcast-quality sound
✔ Offers rich, crisp natural sound
✘ Cable may require an extension

One of the best lavalier microphones to use in interviews, lectures, and films is the Shure MVL. This premium-quality microphone brings out the character in a person’s voice, resulting in a full, distinct, and clear result. 

Its high signal-to-noise ratio and built-in interference protection provide audio that is free of any unwanted noise. Additionally, the MVL also comes with a windscreen to block out wind noise. No matter how loud your audio may be, the sound pressure level of this microphone will ensure that there will be no distortion. 

Built with the legendary durability of Shure microphones, the MVL can certainly hold up to years of frequent use both indoors and on the go. Its omnidirectional pattern won’t miss out on any details, capable of doing an amazing job of isolating your voice from your surroundings. 

The MVL has a cord that’s 52 inches long and requires no batteries to use, making it a great option for any user who wants an outstanding sound quality without needing to use any complicated equipment. Shure has included a windscreen, clip, and carrying pouch in the MVL’s package.

Pros and Cons of the Shure MVL

ProsCons
✔ Has a low-profile design
✔ High signal-to-noise ratio
✔ Connects to smartphones via the headphone jack
✘ Cord is quite thin

A legendary microphone that’s great to use in the studio is the Sony ECM77B. Commonly used in both television and radio productions, the ECM 77B is one of the smallest lavalier mics in the world with the diameter of its capsule measuring 5.6mm. Its low profile makes it a very lightweight microphone that can be easily attached to any speaker even if they are moving. 

It has a frequency range of 40Hz to 20kHz and a sensitivity of -52.0 dD. Due to its wide frequency and high sensitivity, the ECM77B can capture good acoustic recordings. It offers full and natural sound quality without any background noise. 

Moreover, the ECM77B can be powered in two ways, either via phantom power or AA batteries. Aside from the studio, the Sony ECM 77B can also be used to record outdoors, thanks to the windscreen packaged along with it. 

Pros and Cons of the Sony ECM 77B

ProsCons
✔ Can be powered via phantom power or battery power (AA)
✔ Small and compact capsule
✔ Excellent frequency response range
✘ Pricey

Made by one of the leading brands in the industry, you can be sure that the MKE 40 can provide you with audio that has an incredible quality. Its great frequency response allows it to stand out as a great microphone for vocals. 

Utilizing a cardioid pickup pattern, the MKE 40 keeps unwanted sound at bay. The MKE 40’s crisp and clear audio, plus its accurate bass reproduction, is praised by professional productions all over the globe. 

Ideal to use in a range of applications, this microphone can record audio with a high gain before reaching feedback levels. This makes it a great option for those in loud environments or live performances. 

It employs a three-pin connector but it also includes a 3.5mm jack, allowing you to attach it to wireless transmitters or directly to a mobile recorder. Moreover, the MKE 40 is compatible with several Sennheiser wireless transmitters, making it a flexible choice for any creator.

Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser MKE 40

ProsCons
✔ Excellent microphone for vocals
✔ Interchangeable connection
✔ Compatible with other Sennheiser transmitters
✘ Expensive

Are you someone who plays instruments and want a microphone that can best capture your music? One of the best lavalier microphones that you can look into is the Audio-Technica Pro 70

Designed specifically for recording instruments in mind, the Pro 70 comes with an instrument mount to let musicians play in utmost comfort. It particularly shines in recording an acoustic guitar, the sound coming across as extremely natural with an emphasis on the mids. 

It has a switchable low-frequency roll-off that helps in reducing room noise. The Pro 70 utilizes a cardioid directional pattern, effectively minimizing any off-axis sections and improving the audio signal before any feedback response. 

It also comes with a UM3 battery pack that runs on a single AA battery, but it can also be used with external phantom power. The Pro 70 has an attractive price as well, making it an easy pick for any musician out there.

Pros and Cons of the Pro 70

ProsCons
✔ Designed to record instruments
✔ Comes with an instrument mounts
✔ Reduces low-frequency noise
✘ Single polar pattern

The EW 112P G4 is a wireless lavalier system that’s designed for DSLR use. Composed of the ME2-II omnidirectional mic, a wireless transmitter, and a receiver, Sennheiser provides flexibility for filmmakers or content creators without the complexity of cables. 

Featuring an all-metal chassis, this body mic and its transmitter are both lightweight, compact, and easy to conceal, offering comfortability to the subject wearing it. The receiver is equally compact and easily mounts on any DSLR camera or camcorder without adding much weight. 

Sennheiser has included an XLR connector and a 3.5mm jack to connect the receiver to your camera without any hitch. Both the transmitter and receiver feature daylight-readable LED displays that show the reception quality, battery status, and audio level. 

The microphone performs well with its 50Hz to 18kHz frequency range and is capable of handling sudden volume boosts. The 112P G4 is compatible with Sennheiser’s EW 500 wireless systems as well.

Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser EW 112P G4

ProsCons
✔ Easy to set up
✔ Has its own transmitter and receiver
✔ Compatible with DSLR cameras, camcorders, and audio recorders
✘ Requires a lot of batteries

Audio-Technica is a brand that’s well-known for its attractively-priced quality microphones and the AT899 is no exception. This mic has a low profile but it doesn’t sacrifice sound quality at all. 

It’s easy to integrate into any streaming studio as its power pack connects to any device, including computers, mobile recorders, or even cameras. It even supports 48-volt phantom power, providing users with streamlined integration of any streaming interface, high-end mixing consoles, or pre-amps. 

The AT899 produces a clean and crisp reproduction, making it suitable for any content where clarity is important. It has an omnidirectional pattern, capturing sound from any direction and, thanks to its low signal-to-noise ratio, it’s also capable of handling noise at the same time. It also comes with a variety of accessories such as clips, windscreens, and cable. 

Pros and Cons of the AT899

ProsCons
✔ Small profile
✔ Numerous power options
✔ Includes useful accessories
✘ Can be quite pricey

Lavaliers come in wired or wireless options and both offer flexibility that handheld mics don’t have. Wireless lavalier mics are usually paired with a transmitter and receiver, making use of VHF and UHF frequencies to operate. 

One of the best wireless kits around that’s easy on the pocket is the Movo WMIC50 system. This wireless lavalier microphone is equipped with an internal antenna, able to capture sound at a distance of up to 164 feet.

It can be used by clipping the transmitter to the speaker or by mounting the receiver on a camera or tripod. The WMIC50 comes with a foam windscreen and 2 headphone jacks, allowing it to capture sound clearly and keep background noise to a minimum. 

Unlike other wireless lavalier microphones, the WMIC50 is powered by two AAA batteries and can last about 3.5 to 4 hours of recording time. Those looking for an affordable wireless lavalier mic should consider the WMIC50 in their options.

Pros and Cons of the Movo WMIC50

ProsCons
✔ Affordable wireless lavalier system
✔ Can record sound up to
✔ Includes useful accessories
✘ Can be quite pricey

There are advanced content creators out there who are ready to move on from their beginner microphones but are still unsure of dropping a huge dime on more expensive, professional models. 

One mic that these skilled content creators can look into is the PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Mic. This lavalier microphone provides a near-professional solution that can keep up with the high-quality audio production demand in modern media. 

Featuring an omnidirectional pattern, the PowerDeWise lavalier microphone produces a natural-sounding voice, rendering it ideal for podcasts, interviews, conferences, and general applications. 

It employs a good level of sensitivity and signal clarity, making it a highly versatile option. Furthermore, this mic features a 3.5mm jack connection that allows it to be compatible with a wide range of devices. 

Pros and Cons of the PowerDeWise Professional Lavalier Microphone

ProsCons
✔ Plug-and-play mic
✔ Versatile use
✔ Best for intermediate users
✘ Not an on-body lavalier mic

Microphones are often priced above a hundred dollars and while cheap models do exist, their sound quality is often not the best. There are still standouts though, such as the Giant Squid Audio Lab Mono Microphone which offers great sound quality even with its sub-$50 price tag. Ideal for those on a tight budget, this lav mic from Giant Squid has a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response that captures natural sound in a reasonable manner. 

This mic is armed with a metal alligator clip which is highly durable and stays firmly in place when clipped onto the speaker. It also comes with a small windscreen that can cut down noise when used outside. Giant Squid equipped the Mono mic with a 3.5mm TRS connector, letting users easily connect to a computer. These features, coupled with a low price, render the Giant Squid Mono a bang-for-your-buck mic.

Pros and Cons of the Giant Squid Mono Microphone

ProsCons
✔ Robust build
✔ Secure alligator clip
✔ Wide frequency range
✘ Windscreen easily falls off
✘ Needs an adapter for smartphone use

Best Lavalier Mics Comparison

ImageModel NameSound QualityDesignFeaturesPriceTotal RatingCheck Price
01 Rode SmartLav Plus_LAVRode SmartLav+9.59.59.59.59.5Check Prices on Amazon
02 Shure MVL_LAVShure MVL9.59.59.599.4Check Prices on Amazon
03 Sony ECM77B_LAVSony ECM77B9.59.59.599.4Check Prices on Amazon
04 Sennheiser MKE 40_LAVSennheiser MKE 409.599.599.3Check Prices on Amazon
05 Audio-Technica Pro 70_LAVAudio-Technica Pro 709.59.5999Check Prices on Amazon
06 Sennheiser EW 112P G4_LAVSennheiser EW 112P G499999Check Prices on Amazon
07 Audio-Technica AT899_LAVAudio-Technica AT8998.5998.58.8Check Prices on Amazon
08 Movo WMIC50_LAVMovo WMIC508.58.58.58.58.5Check Prices on Amazon
09 PowerDeWise_LAVPowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Microphone8.5888.58.3Check Prices on Amazon
10 Giant Squid Audio Lab_LAVGiant Squid Audio Lab Mono Microphone87.588.58Check Prices on Amazon

Final Note

We hope that you’ve found this guide on the best lavalier microphones useful and informative. Do remember that a lot of times, the best mic isn’t necessarily the most expensive one. There are numerous options in the market that cover a wide range of applications and budgets. Consider the options to find the best microphone for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

What lav mic do YouTubers use?

A lot of YouTubers use the Rode SmartLav+ as it’s a portable and convenient option for most creators. Another microphone that comes to mind is the Audio-Technica ATR3350xiS which has an in-line battery pack with an on/off switch. It also plugs straight into a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, letting creators record on the go.

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Naomi Feller

Originally from the East Coast, Naomi started singing as young as 3 years old. In her early teens Naomi made some embarrassing YouTube videos before settling on a love for Podcast editing. When she's not pouring over endless amounts of audio, she lends her expertise to us here at Shout4Music with her crystal clear and finely tuned microphone reviews.

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